Shopping for a Holiday Gift for the Family?

December 17, 2008

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — A recent holiday
consumer study revealed that consumers may be changing their spending this

— Two out of three Americans admit they will consider spending less on
family and friends this year than they did last year.

— Nearly half will give one large family gift as opposed to many smaller
individual items.

— Nearly three-fourths of Americans will give gifts that provide their
family and friends with entertainment while staying home.

Money-saving options are available for families that are demanding more
from their personal technology, such as creating greeting cards or family
photo albums at home, or tracking and organizing finances using the latest
software. Holiday shoppers who are looking for quality at a low price will
find that Microsoft Office Home and Student (http://www.office.microsoft.com)
offers the latest essential software for $149.95 (estimated retail price). The
suite enables families and students to be more productive and connected, while
keeping family members’ computers up to date.

For consumers who are planning a list for family gift items and checking
it twice, here are a few tips from Justin Hutchinson, Microsoft Office
director of product management:

— Technology tools that help you be efficient in managing your life in
2009 are a “need to have,” not a “nice to have.”

— Keep holiday spending under control using the Office Excel “Holiday
budget planner” template, (http://office.microsoft.com/en-

    --  Multitasking aided by technology extends most people's day by several
hours. The 24-hour day is a thing of the past. So how can your family make the
most of these extended hours so that leisure time with family still takes top
priority? Start by using Office to get organized
4192d28efa51), craft a family vacation photo album
us/templates/TC102512921033.aspx?pid=CT102530791033), create a family calendar
what-day-it-is-with-a-free-calendar.aspx) and more.

— Your kids plus your spouse plus you equals Family 2.0. Keep your
tech-savvy family connected and get more out of your copy of Office by using
Office Live Workspace to share and collaborate

— Look for investments in items that make sense for your family. At
$149.95 estimated retail price,(2) Microsoft Office Home and Student is
cheaper than a few nights out on the town. Now that’s a deal. Microsoft Office
software is available online at http://office.microsoft.com or at retailers.
And check for specials. For example, The Ultimate Steal is a great gift for
the higher-ed “kids” in your life: http://www.TheUltimateSteal.com.

    --  And you can't beat free, right? Microsoft offers hundreds of holiday
templates from Microsoft for invitations, gift labels, place settings, menus,
thank you notes and more
(http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/default.aspx). One of my personal
favorites is the "Snowball Fight" stationery for the annual family "brag
letter" (http://office.microsoft.com/en-
    --  Resolve to continue learning into the new year: Make Office work for
you. If you're not familiar with Microsoft Office OneNote, give it a try
(http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/onenote/HA101686341033.aspx). Bored with
the same old PowerPoint presentations? Download new templates, graphics and
animations to spice things up!
(http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/powerpoint/default.aspx?ofcresset=1) Build
a family tree with your daughter using Microsoft Office Visio
(http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/visio/default.aspx). Write a thank-you note
to grandma using a holiday Microsoft Office Word template
us/templates/TC102448091033.aspx?pid=CT101434351033). Share holiday photos via
Office Live Workspace (http://www.workspace.officelive.com). Whatever you do
this season, spend it with the ones you love.

Office Home and Student includes the latest versions of the following:

— Microsoft Office Word 2007 provides all the tools needed to design and
print great-looking greeting cards, note cards, r©sum©s, book reports and more
from home.

— Microsoft Office Excel 2007 includes specially designed templates that
make it easy to create and manage a budget, track bills and payments, monitor
investments, and more. Now people can keep a close eye on their finances at a
glance, at any time.

— Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 enables users to take advantage of
customizable templates to help them produce professional-looking
presentations. Plus users can add an applause soundtrack between slides in
PowerPoint, play movie clips or even play a few bars of “Deck the Halls.”

— Microsoft Office OneNote 2007 is an organization tool for keeping
track of recipes, grocery lists, pictures, kids’ to-do lists, school projects
and more — all in one digital notebook. It’s also great for journaling for
those budding writers.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their
full potential.

    (1) National random digit dialing phone study conducted by StrategyOne
        Research, September 2008. National survey of 1,000 nationally
        representative adults aged 18 and older.
    (2) Estimated retail price. Actual prices may vary.

    (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081217/AQW026)
    (Logo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO)

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

Source: newswire

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